It is exactly 10 years since Denis Donaldson was first exposed as an agent working for Special Branch and MI5. Next April marks the tenth anniversary of his murder in Donegal.
Throughout that decade, Gardaí have:
- refused to investigate any role played by serving or former members or agents of RUC or PSNI Special Branch or MI5, in those events;
- refused to interview the police handler known as ‘Lenny’, who remained in contact with Denis after his exposure in December 2005;
- refused absolutely to return Denis’ personal journal to the family (despite initial assurances to that effect), invoking so-called State Security grounds;
- refused to co-operate fully with the current Police Ombudsman’s investigation in the north, including refusal to hand over Denis’ personal journal to investigators; and
- Not discharged its statutory and moral duty to maintain regular and open liaison with the family about all aspects of this case.
On 21st November 2013, Garda Commissioner Noirin O Sullivan was personally approached about our concerns by a member of the Donaldson family at an event in Belfast. The Garda Commissioner has since failed to contact our family in the last two years. This matches the quality of family liaison by Gardaí.
The Donegal Coroner’s Court inquest has already been adjourned 16 times, with sustained indulgence shown towards Gardaí. Today is the 17th adjournment application by Gardaí. Detailed submissions on behalf of the Donaldson family have already been filed with the Coroner’s Court.
A decade on, the Donaldson family’s patience is now exhausted. The Irish state must be held to account for its violation of our right to a Article 2 ECHR-compliant investigation, just as much as those responsible for causing Denis’ murder and the family’s ordeal.
We will therefore be shortly consulting with our legal advisors with a view to securing appropriate remedies at both domestic and European level. In the meantime, a new complaint is being submitted to the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission about grievances highlighted on behalf of the Donaldson family, who will also request a meeting with the new Policing Authority once fully established.